Revisiting the Doors’ Last Album With Jim Morrison, ‘L.A. Woman’

Album Cover of L.A. Woman by The Doors

At an uncertain creative crossroads and increasingly overshadowed by the antics of frontman Jim Morrison, the members of the Doors had reason for concern regarding the longterm future of the band when they convened to record their sixth album in late 1970. Their worst fears would soon be confirmed — but first they managed to rebound with a set of songs that served as a triumphant reminder of the band's appeal.

Which is not to say that things always went smoothly during the recording of the LP, which would be titled L.A. Woman and released April 19, 1971. In fact, before they even really got started, the band had to deal with the abrupt departure of longtime producer Paul Rothchild, who ended an early listening session by insulting the Doors' musical direction and walking out.

"We were bummed," admitted guitarist Robby Krieger during a retrospective interview with MOJO. "Because he had done all the other ones was sort of like he didn't like the music. 'It sounds like cocktail music,' he said about 'Riders on the Storm.' We were going, 'Oh s---, what do we do now?' We'd never been in this position before."

"We were giving Paul a preview and he was bored. We played the songs very badly – with Jim – but there was no chi, no energy," added keyboard player Ray Manzarek in a separate interview. "We didn’t want to be back in [Sunset Sound Recorders], and Paul couldn’t bring us back to life. In that instant he was right. As soon as he left the room, that’s when L.A. Woman started."

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Retrieved on 06 January 2019 from

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